June 12, 2007

The Woods

The Woods by Harlan Coben
Finished on 6/3/07
Rating: 4/5 (Very good)

Publisher's Blurb:
Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again.

For Paul Copeland, the county prosecutor of Essex, New Jersey, mourning the loss of his sister has only recently begun to subside. Cope, as he is known, is now dealing with raising his six- year-old daughter as a single father after his wife has died of cancer. Balancing family life and a rapidly ascending career as a prosecutor distracts him from his past traumas, but only for so long. When a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to Cope, the well-buried secrets of the prosecutor’s family are threatened.
Is this homicide victim one of the campers who disappeared with his sister? Could his sister be alive? Cope has to confront so much he left behind that summer twenty years ago: his first love, Lucy; his mother, who abandoned the family; and the secrets that his Russian parents might have been hiding even from their own children. Cope must decide what is better left hidden in the dark and what truths can be brought to the light.

Good ol' reliable Coben! He has yet to disappoint me; his books are great entertainment. A bit predictable, but still great fun. I enjoyed the fast-paced story, staying up far too late several nights in a row. Paul Copeland is a bit reminiscent of Myron Bolitar (from Coben's earlier works)... perhaps this is the beginning of a new series? My only quibble is that the humor seemed a bit forced early on, but I stopped noticing after a few chapters so it really wasn't too much of a distraction. I also appreciated the absence of Coben's usual convoluted finale. I didn't have to backtrack and try to sort things out with this one!


  1. I adore Harlan Coben. I keep avoiding buying this because I know the minute I do it goes to the top of the pile and I've got a tough batch of Challenge books for June that I have to get through first. Maybe this will be my reward for finishing my June reading list?

  2. Anonymous9:09 AM

    This sounds like an author I'd really enjoy. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Glad you gave a review. I've got it here on my shelf and have been waiting for the right moment. I'll try it soon.

  4. I have never read Harlan Coben but I think I'll try something of his.

  5. Great review, Les. Another one for the TBR list.

    I wanted to let you know that Birth House arrived. Thank-you so much for the book and the lovely bookmark. I hope someday I can repay your thoughtfulness.

  6. Hooray...another praise for Coben. I've read only a few and have liked them.

    How's the B&N job going? :)

  7. I had such a great time reading No Second Chance and yet I still have not read another book by Coben. I really must remedy that.

  8. This sounds like an interesting book, and maybe an interesting author, to find books on audio to take with me during my daytime work related driving. I think my wife would like this as well. Thanks for the review.

  9. Anonymous5:49 AM

    Sounds like good summer reading - thanks for the review!

  10. Anonymous10:58 AM

    I read my first Harlan Coben last summer and LOVED it. I have read all of the non-Myron Bolitar books and about half of the Bolitar mysteries. LOVE IT!

  11. SuziQ - Sounds like a good reward. It's a very quick read, though, so maybe you can sneak it in for a little break between all your Challenge books.

    Grace - I really like his Myron Bolitar series. So much so that I keep considering re-reading them.

    Katya - I'm not sure if you're as anal as I, but personally, I think it's wise to start at the beginning of the series so you can see how Myron Bolitar develops over the years. There are a few stand-alones, though, that are just as good as the series.

    Kay - I wonder how you'll like it. I still have one or two of his other books to read. Just need to remember to grab them at the library.

    Booklogged - Glad the book arrived so quickly. I can't wait to hear how YOU like it. When's your trip?

    Joy - The job is perfect with one exception -- not enough time to read anymore! Oh, well. At least I'm surrounded by books and booklovers. I truly love my job, though. Couldn't have asked for a better schedule or group of people to work with.

    Literary Feline - I still have The Innocent to read. I know I read No Second Chance, but of course by now I have no idea what it was about!

    Carl - I enjoy Coben's mysteries, but I think Dennis Lehane is a bit more lyrical - for a mystery writer. If you haven't read any of his Kenzie/Gennaro series, I suggest you give them a try, too.

    MidwestMaven - I think mysteries are perfect for summer reading. Easy to put down and jump right back into between yardwork, outings on the lake, cookouts, etc. They require so little from the reader.

    Think Pink Dana - The Bolitar series only get better. You're in for a treat! BTW, I commented over on your blog. Beautiful, beautiful tribute for Natalie.

  12. I've never read Coben and this sounds like a good book to start with. Thanks for the review.

  13. I've never read any books by Harlan Coben, but I know he gets really good reviews. Maybe I should start!

    Great review!

  14. Framed - This one's good, but it's not one of his best. I think Tell No One might have been a bit better. I should look through all my journals and see which on I rated the highest.

    Stephanie - He does seem to have quite a fan base! Glad you enjoyed the review.


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